Typhoons, chatbots or the challenges of learning German? Any- one willing to expand their own horizons will have plenty to talk about – like these young people from Asia.
Informative continuing education
“In mid-November I visited the world’s largest medical trade fair, the Medica in Dusseldorf. At its Health IT Forum I made contacts at promising digital start-ups and learnt about some highly interesting new tools. Like a self-learn- ing chatbot that advises women on sexual health issues, for example. Bots such as these are useful because they allow any number of confidential conversations to take place simultaneously. There is huge demand in developing countries for discreet advice on health-related matters. Before the Medica, I had the chance to attend a one-week continuing education course at Heidelberg University. The subject of the course was evidence-based decision-making in healthcare. I did my master’s in public health at Heidel- berg in 2011, and today I am the regional coordinator of the GIZ’s “Fit for School” programme for the Philippines d Indonesia. The aim of the programme is for children to adopt healthy and hygienic habits at school, such as regularly washing their hands and brushing their teeth.”
JUAN ALFONSO LEONARDIA
41, expert in public health from Manila
ALUMNI SPECIAL PROJECTS
Through its “Alumni Special Projects” programme, the DAAD supports decision-makers from developing countries and emerging economies who have studied or researched in Germany. The alumni attend a continuing education course at a Ger- man university and then visit a trade fair or congress.
Useful experiences in Germany
“Only very few Thai students go abroad, as most want to get their degree as quickly as possible. I really like travelling, however, and enjoy having new experiences. I have also already spent one semester studying in Indonesia. And of course I immediately seized my chance to go to Ger- many on the Erasmus+ programme. I have been studying business administration at the Prince of Songkla Univer- sity in the south of Thailand since 2015. Studying in Ger- many is quite different, as the tutors require us to learn more independently. I see this as a much more mature way to acquire knowledge, but it was something I had to get used to at first. At the HWR Berlin I took courses in subjects such as business administration and German. German is difficult, but I enjoy the challenge – my German friends d it hard to believe that I actually like the lan- guage! My main subject in Thailand is hotel management, an area in which international experience is of course a huge advantage. I am certain that my experiences in Germany will help me land an internship with an international hotel chain.”
21, Erasmus student at the Berlin School of Economics and Law (HWR Berlin)
Since 2015, students from non-Euro- pean countries are also eligible for an Erasmus+ grant. The “International Credit Mobility” funding line enables students from universities in Thai- land, Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam to spend a period of time studying at a German partner university.
Up-to-date environmental knowledge
“I became interested in technology from an early age thanks to my grandfather, who is passionate about engi- neering! When I began my studies in 2015, the GMIT had only been in existence for a short time but already had a very good reputation. Germany is really highly regarded in Mongolia because of its good organisation and of course because of technology. The GMIT campus is simply great! I also like the fact that we learn some German during our studies and do a longer internship. I was placed with a mining company and learnt a lot there. After completing my bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering, I would really like to do a master’s at the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. Later I would like to help make the environment cleaner in Mongolia. The mining industry is the backbone of Mongolian industry but it pollutes the environment a lot and the air in Ulan Bator is very bad in the winter.”
20, student at the German-Mongolian Institute for Resources and Technology (GMIT)
Mongolia suffers from a shortage of highly-qualified engineers for the resources sector, which is why the Ger- man-Mongolian Institute for Resources and Technology near Ulan Bator was founded in 2013. The project is jointly financed by the Mongolian Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the DAAD in cooperation with three German university partners. Alongside four bachelor’s degree programmes taught in English, the GMIT has also offered a master’s degree in international resource management since 2017.
The DAAD alumni magazin LETTER tells interesting stories from science, culture, Germany and the DAAD alumni network.